The most damaging phrase you can say to another parent

The most damaging phrase you can say to another parent

Originally published in February 2013

One of the hardest phrases for me to hear as a mother is “Just wait until…”

"Get your sleep now because just wait until those first few weeks when you turn into a walking zombie."

"If you think breastfeeding is hard, just wait until she starts eating solid food. It’s so much work!"

"You think getting up in the night is tough? Just wait until she starts walking…then you’re REALLY going to be tired."

"Oh boy, just wait until she turns two. TWO is really going to test your patience with all the disciplining.""

"You think traveling with one is tough? Just wait until you attempt to fly with both kids!"

"The toddler stage is easy peasy. Just wait until they’re in elementary school and they have tons of homework every night!"

"TEENAGERS! Just wait until she turns 13 and has an opinion about every outfit you try to buy her."

The phrase “just wait until” is damaging because... implies that our current season, and current struggles, are not valid. implies the future only gets more challenging. implies all children, and all families, go through the same trials.

As I continue to grow as a mom, I’ve decided two things:

1.  I will ignore any and all advice that comes from someone who says, “Just wait until..."

2.  The phrase “Just wait until..." will not be part of my vocabulary unless it’s used in this context:

…Just wait until they lay her on your chest for the first time…Just wait until that first smile…Just wait until instead of screaming in the night, you hear her say, “MOMMY?”…Just wait until the first morning you get 8 hours of straight sleep and feel like a new woman (because it will happen!)…Just wait until she open mouth kisses you with a look of complete glee and love…Just wait until the pitter patter of her little feet make the house feel right for the first time…Just wait until you realize that even though it’s hard work being a parent, you want to do it all over again. 

In parenting, there are plenty of ages and stages we can fear. Even better? There are plenty of ages and stages to look forward to.